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The soothing sound of water

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By Debby Looney, gardening expert

Finally the weather has arrived - those lovely sunny days where we can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of our labour. The garden furniture is out, parasols are up and the barbecue is lit.

The weeding is done, the grass is cut and the pots are watered. Bored much? Well, if you are like me, and need something to do – especially when the weather is fine - how about a water feature? The sound of water is well-known to be relaxing, so maybe that will be the key to finally sitting down and reading a book!

Apart from its calming qualities, water in the garden is important from an ecological point. You will notice the biodiversity in your garden grow as soon as you add water, and it is uncanny how quickly dragonflies find it! Water features do not need to be a particularly work intensive project, it can be anything from a plastic barrel to a large natural pond. I have seen some beautiful plastic barrels with a floating pot with waterlillies inside it and a floating solar light – small but effective. You can also buy a huge range of ready to use, easy to install water features – you literally fill them up with a few litres of water, plug them in and the job is done.

Alternatively, you can build your own pond, which is quite a straightforward project. Decide on a spot and start digging out your pond – the size will depend on you, the depth should always be at least 40cm. If you wish to grow water lilies, you will need to go a bit deeper. Lining a pond can be done with EPDM rubber if you want to shape it yourself. An old carpet or some insulation underneath will protect the liner from tearing on stones.

A layer of sand will do the trick. There are also preformed liners available which are very practical and easy to install. They are usually stepped which allows you to put in different water plants at the edges. These are definitely the quickest and easiest options. To maintain clarity of water, and to prevent algal growth, it is vital to aerate the water.

The simplest way to do this, without the use of a filtration system, is to create running water. Pumps are readily available and relatively cheap. The smallest usually start at about €40. Pumps are sold in two ways, by the amount of water they pump per hour, and by the lift they give.

A pump which pumps at 450L per hour will usually give a lift of one metre to the water – so you can install a small fountain. Pumps then go up in size, depending on what you need. I have a small pump in my pond, set at half the speed, which circles my water up and around the pond to the opposite, rising gradually to give a fall over stones of about 30cm. This creates a small amount of movement within the pond so that it does not stagnate, it oxygenates as it flows over the stones and it creates that soothing sound of water gently splashing back into the pond. An effort well worth making!

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NPWS survey to find out impact of fires

By Michelle Crean The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April. The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find […]

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By Michelle Crean

The National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) has commissioned a comprehensive survey on the impact of fires over the past four decades – in particular Killarney National Park in April.

The tender, worth €300,000, and named ‘Study on the Impact of Fires On The Biodiversity of Killarney National Park’, seeks to find out the biological impacts of the fires in the 26,000 acre park.

The fires in April burned from Friday night on April 23 until around 12pm the following Monday when they were finally brought under control.

Parts of the Park were scorched resulting in flora and fauna being wiped out. Some fires came as close as 10 metres to a church and school in the Black Valley area.

Fires raged near Tomies Wood and fire crews from five different districts quenched fires near the properties under threat. A real threat was for The Oak Woods but fire fighters managed to avert danger.

The fire is believed to have begun on the Kenmare Road area escalated by the strong winds.

“The purpose of this tender is to commission a comprehensive survey of the impacts, and the chrono-sequence of fire recovery or otherwise, on lands burned over the past four decades, as well as surveys in unburned areas, in order to assess the biological impacts of the fires, in particular the fire of April 2021, on the biodiversity of Killarney National Park,” an NPWS spokesperson told the Killarney Advertiser.

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Killarney spin will bring comfort to patients

By Michelle Crean Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town. Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22. This year due to COVID […]

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By Michelle Crean

Ahead of this year’s ladies only 54321 Challenge a number of spinathons are taking place, including in Killarney town.

Sunday, August 15 a group of 10 ladies plan a spinathon day in Killarney ahead of their four day epic adventure from Thursday, August 19 to Sunday 22.

This year due to COVID restrictions the 54321 team will run with two teams of five people, all female – who are raising funds for one single charity – Comfort for Chemo Kerry.

Their four day challenge will include a cycle the Ring of Kerry on day one (Thursday 19), a climb up Carrantuohil on day two (Friday 20), a cycle from Killarney to the foot of Cnoc Na Tobair and then climb Cnoc Na Tobair on day three (Saturday 21) finishing off with a cycle of the Skellig Ring on day four (Sunday 22).

In advance of the ninth annual challenge they will first participate in the spinathons at various locations to help raise much needed funds for this year’s chosen charity.

The first of the spinathons will take place on Saturday, July 31 in Listowel, Killorglin, Dingle, Cahersiveen. On the day volunteers will take to the spinning bikes from 10am to 5pm in different locations around these towns.
This will be followed by Killarney on Sunday, August 15, and Tralee on Saturday, August 28.

When choosing this year’s charity, organisers contacted a past participant and a dear friend, Mairead Dunphy from Glencar who is currently on her own journey with cancer.

“We wanted to show our support to Mairead and knowing that she would like to support those who have supported her on her journey so far, she had already being looking at ideas to raise much needed funds for Comfort for Chemo Kerry,” TJ O’Connor said.

“Please support Comfort for Chemo Kerry by giving what you can.”

For more information about the spinathons go to www.54321challenge.org or the Comfort for Chemo Kerry Facebook page for online donation information.

There’s also a GoFundMe page: ‘Comfort for Chemo Kerry – 54321 Challenge 2021’ which has a €20,000 target set up.

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